The Chainlink

I've never been and I read about some concerts there this weekend.  I'd be leaving from the north side.  Any routes would be appreciated, plus tips for good eats along the way.  Thanks.

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yes.
if you can get to the Illinois Prairie Path (in Maywood, 1st Ave. and around St Charles Road)
take that west to Wheaton. (if you have a road bike, just take the streets that parallel it, or
if a hybrid . MTB , ride the path).

then take (in Glen Ellyn) Route 53 straight south (it curves a bit) to the Arboretum.

an alternate is to get of the IPP in Elmhurst and take Butterfield Rd (IL Route 56) towards the Arb, but that is almost like riding on an expy (READ : not very bike friendly). there will be thousands of cars and
I (can almost) guarantee you'd be the *only* bike on that car-crazy suburban thoroughfare....
Thanks Dan. What's the IPP surface like? Dirt? Crushed limestone? I have a hybrid/commuter bike; Giant FCR3

dan brown said:
yes.
if you can get to the Illinois Prairie Path (in Maywood, 1st Ave. and around St Charles Road)
take that west to Wheaton. (if you have a road bike, just take the streets that parallel it, or
if a hybrid . MTB , ride the path).

then take (in Glen Ellyn) Route 53 straight south (it curves a bit) to the Arboretum.

an alternate is to get of the IPP in Elmhurst and take Butterfield Rd (IL Route 56) towards the Arb, but that is almost like riding on an expy (READ : not very bike friendly). there will be thousands of cars and
I (can almost) guarantee you'd be the *only* bike on that car-crazy suburban thoroughfare....
Crushed limestone
just check google street view, you could also take park ave south
The IPP starts at 1st Ave across from Maybrook Dr, which is just a block or two south of Madison (the same Madison in Chicago... you can take Madison from downtown directly there). The IPP is mostly limestone with some paved portions and a lot of intersections. I was just on it yesterday from downtown to Glen Ellyn and back, and I've done the ride to Two Brothers in Warrenville on the IPP several times. No problem with just about any kind of bicycle.
I commute from Bucktown to the Morton Arboretum area. If you don't want to bike the whole way take Metra UP-West (Elburn) to Glen Ellyn. Take Park Avenue (which is the N/S road just east of the Glen Ellyn Station) south and it will take you right to M.A. You may find Park Ave. a better alternative than more heavily traveled Rte. 53. It is about 7 miles from Glen Ellyn Station to M.A.

An alternative is to take Metra BNSF (Aurora) to Lisle and bike a mile or so north to M.A. If you want to bike a southern route then you can take Ogden Avenue part or all of the way. Coming from the city I take Damen to Ogden to Plainfield Road and then take streets that parallel the BNSF tracks to Fairview Avenue in Downers Grove. I go north on Fairview to Prairie Avenue to Belmont to Warrenville Road to Rte. 53. M.A. is about 1/2 mile north of Warrenville Road on Rte. 53.

Travel times are faster on Ogden but IPP is a bit more scenic, depending on your tastes.

Thanks to OP and commenters. Been looking for this exact info. These types of threads are one of the many things that make CL so great. 

I lived in Lisle for a year, and I don't know a good route. Sad, really... 53 is a terrible choice and should be avoided. It has too many areas where four lanes condense down to two lanes and that results in a lot of aggressive drivers trying to cut each other off and get around the slower moving vehicles before the next bottle neck.

To get into the general area, talking the Prairie Path just past Elmhurst and then taking the Salt Creek Trailway down to York Rd isn't bad. From York, there is a side path along most of 31st street (crushed limestone) but 31st itself isn't too bad (four lanes, fast moving cars, but good visibility and plenty of room to safely pass a cyclist). Then follow the side streets around Ogden (there are a couple of spots where you will have to either ride on Ogden or the sidewalk... Ogden itself can be OK depending on time of day).

The best way into Morton from the north is to come down Park Blvd. From the south, if you have to take 53, the shoulder is plenty wide and it's safe enough heading north out of Lisle (again, riding on sidewalks at places); I would not ride on 53 heading south from Glen Ellyn/ Lombard. 

I hate to say it, but the best way to Morton is by car. They will charge you the same whether you pull up in a car with a bike rack or you pull up on your bike. I've never been to Morton, actually, because of this. I've gone past it a number of times, but I refuse to pay just for the privilege of riding my bike through their grounds. 

If you time it right, the Naperville bicycle club does rides into Morton on occasion and enough of the riders have yearly passes that someone can get you in as a guest. 

I took (drove) my family to Morton several times last year for bike rides. It's a good ride for families--not very long, several ways to "shortcut" if kids are getting tired, a nice balance of things to stop and see and hills (which, as everyone knows, build character...). And though it's a road you bike on at the arboretum, it's a very safe ride. If you get there early enough, you can ride before the roads are open to cars.

I see faster riders typically doing several laps around the arboretum.

While I haven't gone to Morton via bike, IPP starting in Maywood to 53 then south is probably the best route.  I don't like biking on 53 though. Also, you could definitely take a road bike on the prairie path, at least probably in mid-summer after trail maintenance. I see road bikes on the IPP all the time. 

My friends with 23mm tires refuse to ride on the gravel portions of the IPP. I ride it with 28mm tires without issue. 

Once the bike path is gone I would not do 31st - 2 lanes of traffic in each direction with no protection. For me staying on the IPP until Park feels much safer.

Drewbacca said:

I lived in Lisle for a year, and I don't know a good route. Sad, really... 53 is a terrible choice and should be avoided. It has too many areas where four lanes condense down to two lanes and that results in a lot of aggressive drivers trying to cut each other off and get around the slower moving vehicles before the next bottle neck.

To get into the general area, talking the Prairie Path just past Elmhurst and then taking the Salt Creek Trailway down to York Rd isn't bad. From York, there is a side path along most of 31st street (crushed limestone) but 31st itself isn't too bad (four lanes, fast moving cars, but good visibility and plenty of room to safely pass a cyclist). Then follow the side streets around Ogden (there are a couple of spots where you will have to either ride on Ogden or the sidewalk... Ogden itself can be OK depending on time of day).

The best way into Morton from the north is to come down Park Blvd. From the south, if you have to take 53, the shoulder is plenty wide and it's safe enough heading north out of Lisle (again, riding on sidewalks at places); I would not ride on 53 heading south from Glen Ellyn/ Lombard. 

I hate to say it, but the best way to Morton is by car. They will charge you the same whether you pull up in a car with a bike rack or you pull up on your bike. I've never been to Morton, actually, because of this. I've gone past it a number of times, but I refuse to pay just for the privilege of riding my bike through their grounds. 

If you time it right, the Naperville bicycle club does rides into Morton on occasion and enough of the riders have yearly passes that someone can get you in as a guest. 

Fair enough... It's a comfort level thing; I feel safe on 31st outside of rush hour. 53 is crazy. Park is optimal.


Not too hip said:

Once the bike path is gone I would not do 31st - 2 lanes of traffic in each direction with no protection. For me staying on the IPP until Park feels much safer.

 

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